Sestina: Because why the heck not?


We were standing in the kitchen, sisters, mother, I, adding salt
To the rising dough, women settled into their lots,
Cleaning the house, preparing food for the men
Our bodies were ready to open for, their bodies, sex-
Driven, waiting to consume us, as hail
Breaks down the barely stalks, as fire

Consumes the under-bracken, the bright fire
That generates rich, clean salt-
Bearing ash that we strew like hail
On the small patch of ground this sex-
Strewn city left us for a garden. The men,

The bright visitors that call themselves men
But are angels, made of fire,
Wearing the flesh-masks of the male sex,
Came into our house smelling of salt,
Clean, flavourful, adding beauty to our lot
In this ugly city. They warned us of hail,

Hard and over-abundant, enough clear hail
To batter out the lives of the men
Who turned this city into a lot
Filled with filth, and this hail would be fire,
The purifying kind that dries sin to salt.
The city-leaders came to our door, scenting sex,

Wanting the white bodies of the visitors for sex,
And our father would not bide them enter, though they hailed
On the door and tried to bribe him with bags of pure salt.
He offered us instead, our bodies, to the men
Who laughed at us, our flesh less valuable to them that the fire-
Skins of the strange, angelic men. Our father, Lot,

Was supposed to be the only good man, but Lot
Still offered us, his daughters, to those rapists for sex,
As though we were nothing but wood for his fire.
I never forgave him, even after the hail
Rained down on us and burnt those men,
Who did deserve it. I looked over at my mother, tasting salt.

When those bright-men came and the hail-like-fire rained down,
Our father, Lot, offered his daughters up for sex. I shut my heart
To him forever, barred him and his angels out, and salted its earth.


About Bethany W Pope

Bethany W Pope is an award winning author of the LBA, and a finalist for the Faulkner-Wisdom Awards. Her work was listed for the Cinnamon Press Novel Competition. She received her PhD from Aberystwyth University’s Creative Writing program. Her first poetry collection, A Radiance was published by Cultured Llama Press in June. Her second collection, Persephone in the Underworld has been accepted by Rufus Books and shall be released in 2016. Her work has appeared in: Anon, Art Times, Ampersand, Blue Tattoo, Sentinel Quarterly, The Delinquent, De/Tached (an anthology released by Parthian), The Writer’s Hub, New Welsh Review, Every Day Poems, And Other Poems, Sentinel Literary Quarterly, Magma, Words & Music, The Quarterly Conversation, Tears in the Fence, Ink, Sweat and Tears and Planet. Her work is due to appear in the next issues of Poetry Review Salzburg, Acumen, Pacific Poetry , Music& Literature, Anon, and The Screech Owl.

Posted on April 30, 2012, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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